He’s not the only Toronto Maple Leafs forward who won’t play another game during 2015-16, either, as Joffrey Lupul‘s out of the mix, too.
The team itself hasn’t sent out the official tweet, but it all appears to be a done deal, as you can see from at least two sources:
Whether Mike Babcock wants to admit that this is a tank-job or not, it’s easy to justify shutting each player down.
Even if they could try to play, why bother? The Leafs are fighting for lottery odds, not anything else at this point in the season. Every move is about loading up for the next draft or two.
The more interesting questions revolve around their futures with Toronto: will JVR or Lupul play for the Maple Leafs again?
JVR’s struggled at times, but his $4.25 million cap hit is pretty easy to stomach when you consider his potential as a quality power forward.
Both of their deals don’t expire until after the 2017-18 season, which could make Lupul’s $5.25 million cap hit tough to move and difficult to stomach as buyout. It might be worth it to Lou Lamoriello & Co, however, as Lupul only seems to struggle more each season.
(Cap numbers via General Fanager.)